A prosecutor testified in court that security camera footage from a state mental hospital showed a black man in Virginia who was chained and shackled being pushed down by the officers who are now charged with second-degree murder in his death.
Irvo Otieno was suffocated to death, according to local media, said Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill at the seven officers’ first court appearance on Wednesday.
Otieno was being checked in when the cops placed him on the ground without cause, according to Baskervill. Otieno was seated in a chair when the cops hauled him to the ground, according to the prosecutor, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
It was a “demonstration of power that was unlawful,” the prosecutor added, according to the newspaper.
According to testimony from his family and one of their attorneys, Otieno, a 28-year-old from Henrico County, has a history of mental health issues and was in mental distress at the time of his initial interaction with law officers earlier this month. He passed away on March 6 while being taken to Central State Hospital south of Richmond, according to Baskervill, who announced the charges against seven Henrico County Sheriff’s deputies in a press release on Tuesday.
According to a news release from his attorneys, Mark Krudys and Ben Crump, a human rights attorney known for defending victims in police brutality cases, Otieno’s family were due to examine footage of the events leading up to his death on Thursday.
What has been disclosed thus far “paints a heinous and inhumane image,” according to Crump, who represents George Floyd’s family.
Attorney Crump noted, “It is truly shocking that nearly three years after the brutal killing of George Floyd by police, another family is grieving a loved one who allegedly died in nearly the exact same manner — being pinned down by police for 12 agonizing minutes.”
According to Krudys, Otieno, whose family is from Kenya, was a genuinely liked and well-regarded young guy who were an aspiring singer and a well-known high school athlete in the neighborhood.
According to a chronology supplied by Henrico County Police, he was originally taken into custody by law officials on March 3.